Self-watering moss described in Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily, New Scientist 6 June 2016 and Nature Plants doi:10.1038/nplants.2016.76 published online 6 June 2016. Biologists and engineers from China and USA have studied a moss named Syntrichia caninervis (common name: Tortula Moss) that grows in the deserts of the Great Basin in the US, the Gurbantünggüt desert in China and other northern hemisphere deserts.

The plant does not absorb water through its roots, but survives well in the desert because it can capture water from the air using awns – tiny hair-like structures 0.5 to 2 mm long that project from the tips of its leaves. The surface of the awns is covered with hair about 100 nanometres deep and 200 nanometres wide. These lie within larger grooves about 1.5 micrometres deep and 3 micrometres wide. The nanometre sized grooves are just the right size for water vapour to condense and form droplets and films. The larger grooves are just the right size for collecting water droplets from fog. If it rains, raindrops get trapped between the awns. Whatever the source of water, once droplets have formed on the awns they are drawn towards the leaves by capillary action.

Because the plant is able to collect water from multiple sources, from water vapour, to fog, to raindrops, the scientists concluded: “Our observations reveal nature’s optimisation of water collection by coupling relevant multiscale physical plant structures with multiscale sources of water”.

New Scientist, Science News, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: This plant structure is certainly optimised, not by nature but for nature. This plant is designed by someone who understood the multiscale sources of water and in response designed the multiscale structure of the awns. The evolutionists always seem to invoke some mythical god named “nature” when they can’t avoid seeing the obvious design, such as the nanotechnology in these moss awns.

These water collecting systems would work brilliantly on a planet that was watered by a rising mist such as the one described in Genesis 2:1-6. The air would be humid all the time, so Syntrichia caninervis moss could survive very well without having to absorb water through its roots.

Ironically it is also this watering method that enables it to survive in the desert when other plants can’t. Even the driest deserts have some water vapour in the air, and are often covered in morning fog which does not moisten the ground very well, so any plant that can capture water from the air, rather than soil, will survive, whereas a plant that is dependent on water from the soil will not.

But note again our common theme: this plant only survives because it already has the awns, with their precise nanotechnology. Being placed in the desert would never give it the genes to make them. It is yet another example of a plant that was designed for the very good world of Genesis 1, but can now survive in the sin cursed world after Adam and the judgement of Noah’s Flood. (Ref. bryophytes, mosses, deserts, arid)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 12
22 June 2016
Creation Research Australia